EPA pushes renewable fuel compliance deadline

For the third time this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pushed back the deadline for gasoline and diesel refiners to blend renewable fuels into their products.

The agency announced Thursday that it the new deadline for companies to show they complied with the 2013 blending mandates will be 30 days after the EPA finalizes the 2014 mandate. The EPA is supposed to finalize volumes by November of the prior year for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), but it has still not do so for 2014’s level.

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“This action is being taken because we are still working on the 2014 RFS final standards; and we are taking the time to get them right,” the agency said in a statement “We believe biofuels are an important part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy, helping to curb our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution, and create jobs.”

The original deadline was the end of February. The EPA pushed it to June, and then September, before Thursday’s action.

The EPA is struggling to complete 2014’s standard. As proposed last year, the RFS would decrease for ethanol and stay flat for biodiesel.

The proposal came as a relief for the petroleum industry and its allies, but renewable fuel advocates and corn farmers blasted the Obama administration for it.